Sunday, November 26, 2006

Warning: Ad-Watch + Installing IE7

As I had written in "My IE7 Experience", I was first prompted to download IE7 on 1 November. When the download started, I immediately too steps to prepare for installation. One such step involved using WinPatrol to disable Lavasoft's real-time monitor, Ad-Watch. This way I did not need to change any of the Ad-Watch settings with the restart I knew to expect with the IE7 installation.

Due most likely to my dial-connection, I did not get prompted for the actual installation of IE7 until three weeks later. As a result, I had forgotten that Ad-Watch was disabled until today when I wanted to check the GUI (Graphic User Interface) to get the correct language to provide help for someone. I easily re-enabled Ad-Watch through WinPatrol and then was immediately prompted with a number of registry changes to allow or disallow.

Included among the changes were the registry updates made when installing IE7. Fortunately, I was paying attention and allowed the changes. Had I not done that, I would definitely have had to re-install IE7 and could likely have had problems with the .lnk and .exe extensions faced by so many Ad-Watch users since Ad-Aware SE was released in August 2004.

As stated in the Lavasoft manual:
"You can lock the startup sections of your registry, block possible and actual browser hijack attempts, block suspicious processes, lock executable file associations, Block malicious cookies, block Pop-ups, and uses the all new CSI technology to protect you from unknown variants as well. Even if Ad-Watch is turned off and something DOES install onto your system, it will recognize it and will kill the process as soon as it has seen it when turned back on." {emphasis added}
In fact, Ad-Watch even prompted me to allow the registry change for itself!

This is the reason why I always recommend having "Automatic" turned off with Ad-Watch. Part of responsible computing is knowing what is happening on your computer.

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